Nine in a row; Jayhawks remain unbeaten in Big 12 at Texas Tech
LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 1-ranked defense in the Big 12 Conference showed its true colors Saturday afternoon inside United Supermarkets Arena, when the Kansas volleyball team swept Texas Tech (25-22, 25-22, 25-19) to remain undefeated in league play.
Kansas (13-4, 6-0 Big 12) set a new KU three-set match record, recording 16.5 blocks in the contest. The Jayhawks held the second-ranked hitting team in the league in Texas Tech (15-6, 4-3 Big 12) to an .096 percentage en route to picking up their ninth-straight victory on the season.
The Jayhawks used a balanced offensive front to offset its defensive prowess. Five different KU attackers posted six or more kills with junior outside hitter Ashley Smith paving the way with nine on the afternoon. Freshman setter Camryn Ennis added 25 assists while junior libero Allie Nelson recorded 19 digs.
- Kansas won its ninth-straight match with the victory over TTU and sixth-straight in conference play.
- That is the longest winning streak for KU since closing conference play 14-0 in 2016.
- The victory also extended KU’s win streak over the Red Raiders to 16 matches.
- The three-set win marked the first sweep in conference play since Oct. 21, 2017, when the Jayhawks swept Texas Tech in Lawrence.
- The sweep also marked the first sweep in a true road contest since Oct. 18, 2017, when Kansas took three-straight sets at then-No. 23 Baylor.
- The Jayhawks set a new KU three-set match record posting 16.5 blocks in the contest.
- The 16.5 blocks also pushes KU’s block per set number over three, rounding out at 3.04 – that ranks the squad No. 4 in the country.
- Junior middle blocker Zoe Hill eclipsed the 400-career kill mark after recording seven kills on the day to push her total to 406.
Head coach Ray Bechard on the team’s defensive performance…
“The initial 10 points – we were pretty organized up front defensively. The front row created a confidence in our defense. As the match went along, we stayed really organized, behind the block too. The 50 digs is big. That combination in blocks and digs created some opportunities for us. We did just enough offensively, but defensively, it was a really strong effort.”
Bechard on the three-set sweep…
“We have been playing a lot of four- and five-set matches. Texas Tech is a good team. We managed the situation very well defensively. Our balance – we had five attackers with six or more kills. The offensive balance was there too. We were pretty good down the stretch at the end of the game. We made some really good plays late and played clean. We served really tough.”
Bechard on the upcoming Sunflower Showdown…
“K-State will play its best match of the year, and we need to do that too. That is a rivalry game. Regardless what has happened as of late, I just know we will get their very best effort and it will be a great match.”
The Kansas volleyball team will travel to in-state rival Kansas State for the first of two Dillons Sunflower Showdown matches against the Wildcats on Wednesday, Oct. 17. First serve from inside Ahearn Field House is slated for 8 p.m., and can be seen on ESPNU.
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